EIS AGM: Outgoing EIS President warns that teachers will strike if no fair pay deal is reached

Created on: 09 Jun 2022 | Last modified: 09 Jun 2022

The outgoing President of the EIS has today (Thursday) warned that Scotland’s teachers will take strike action if no acceptable pay settlement is reached with CoSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) and the Scottish Government.

The EIS is seeking a 10% pay increase for teachers this year. The only offer that has yet been received from employers was for a 2% increase, and this was instantly rejected by the EIS.

Delivering her address to the EIS Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Dundee Caird Hall today, EIS President Heather Hughes said, “How quickly COSLA and the Scottish Government have forgotten the selflessness of teachers; teachers who worked all hours of the day and night, totally adapting their teaching, often learning new skills to move to online forums; and volunteering in their droves to staff HUBS and teach the most vulnerable children and young people and children of other essential workers so that they could keep our vital services running in the midst of the crisis.”

She continued, “Colleagues, you went above and beyond doing your utmost trying to keep schools open for the young people you teach. As always you had their welfare at the centre of these selfless actions. What was our reward for all these selfless interventions? A paltry pay rise for 2021/22 and an insulting offer of 2% after we launched our 10% pay claim for 2022/23. A pay rise which should have been settled by April the 1st this year!”

Ms Hughes added, “We are in the worst cost of living crisis for 40 years. RPI Inflation is sitting at 11% and forecast to go even higher. Record high fuel prices, energy costs up 54% and food prices escalating with every shop. A 10% rise in our pay barely covers inflation now and is nowhere near the restorative pay rise our members need and deserve.”

“We must and will win this campaign for a cost-of-living pay rise. Our employers and the Scottish Government have been given notice that the teachers of Scotland led by the EIS will campaign, will organise, will march, and if necessary, will ballot our members for industrial action. Make no mistake: if no reasonable offer is made…we will vacate our classrooms. We demand this pay rise for ourselves, for our families and for the future of education in Scotland.”

A copy of the full text of Ms Hughes’ speech is available here.